tv NHK World NEWSLINE LINKTV August 13, 2014 5:00am-5:31am PDT
welcome to nhk "newsline." i'm gene otani in tokyo. here's a look at stories we are following this hour. russian troops are conducting military exercises on islands occupied by japan. hundreds of russian trucks are on their way to eastern ukraine but many people are wondering if they are carrying aid or the threat of an invasion. international health officials are helping
experimental drugs will help contain an outbreak of ebola that shows little signs of slowing down. russian forces have launched exercises that have provoked japanese officials. the drills are taking place on japanese islands claimed by japan. the forces are running through drills using about 100 military vehicles and five attack helicopters. they are staging the exercises in an area they call -- officials at the foreign ministry say they received information that the exercises are taking place on two of the islands. russia controls the four islands but the japanese government maintains they are an inherent part of japanese territory.
>> translator: we cannot accept drills. a convoy of hundreds of trucks is snaking its way through the russian countryside. and many people want to know what they're carrying. russian leaders say the convoy is bringing aid to people in eastern ukraine. but authorities in ukraine fear the russians may have other plans. ukrainian forces have been fighting for months to put down an uprising by pro-russian separatists. and government commanders say they are gaining the upper hand. residents of some areas are said to be running short of food, water, and medicine. so russian government officials loaded up the convoy of 280 trucks, they say, to bring relief. >> translator: we agreed to the route that is comfortable for authorities in kiev. we agreed that our trucks would have ukrainian license plates
while moving through ukrainian territory. >> authorities in ukraine are not convinced. they say once the trucks reach the border, red cross workers will reload the cargo on to other vehicles. >> now we are not consider any possibilities to access of russian trucks to ukrainian territory. >> ukrainian leaders are accusing russian commanders of reinforcing troops along the border. and they're concerned that the russians could use humanitarian help as a pretext for an invasion. russian president, vladimir putin has banned the import of many food products from western countries. now he's looking for other sources. he's struck a deal with egyptian leaders to buy agricultural products and sell weapons. putin hosted the egyptian president, fattah al-sisi, in the olympic resort town of sochi. they struck a deal that will see egypt export about 30% more food to russia.
putin reportedly agreed to sell egypt more wheat as well as fighter jets and missiles. last week russian leaders imposed a one-year ban on import of many food items from the eu, u.s., and other western countries. they were retaliating over sanctions of russia over the situation in ukraine. international public health officials are going into the unknown to stop the spread of ebola. they have seen more than 1,000 people in west africa die after being affected by the virus. nhk world reports. >> reporter: people across west africa have grown afraid of their neighbors. no one approached this man lying on the street. they thought he might be infected with ebola. officials at the world health organization have made a decision they hope will contain
the outbreak. they have authorized the use of experimental drugs. >> there was unanimous agreement among the experts that the special circumstances of this ebola outbreak it is ethical to offer unregistered intervention. >> reporter: researchers at pharmaceutical firms in u.s. and canada are working to develop treatments. doctors in the u.s. used one drug on two americans infected with the virus and the patients are recovering. the medical staff in spain used the same drug on a missionary who was working at a hospital in liberia. he died. researchers say the medicine works by reinforcing the patient's immune system. >> it is spring loaded and the
infection will uncoil. these parts like that together and while they are attached they alert the immune system for destruction. >> reporter: researchers say supplies of the drug a limited so officials are trying to figure out which patients should get priority. medical workers have little time for treating other diseases. some worry this will lead to epidemics of other infectious diseases including malaria. canada's health minister said her government will donate as many as 1,000 doses of an experimental vaccine to the w.h.o. consumers across japan have been holding on to their money.
they have spent less since the government raised the consumption tax in april. government officials are reporting negative growth. it's the sharpest decline since the first quarter of 2011 when the earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern japan. the officials have compiled the numbers for the april to june period. they say in real terms, gdp was minus 1.7% compared from the previous quarter. that translates to an annualized growth rate of minus 6.8%. by category consumer spending plunged 5%. people had rushed out to buy big ticket items such as cars and home appliances before prime minister shinzo abe hiked the consumption tax from 5% to 8%. but consumer spending appetite has since faded. as for capital investment, that dropped 2.5%. business managers have tightened their budgets after upgrading their computer systems. those moves came after microsoft
stopped supporting its windows xp operating system. japan's economic revitalization minister remains optimistic. akira amari said the contraction is within a normal range. he compared it to the time when japan raised the consumption tax in the past. >> translator: some of the aftereffects of the tax hikes are lingering but they're gradually receding. we're expecting the economy to continue to recover moderately. we think our economic policy measures are working. >> amari said his upbeat assessment is based on recent improvements in consumer confidence and business investment. store managers across japan are wondering when their customers will come back. some worry that could take a while. more from nhk world's kyoko fujita. >> reporter: consumers have become more frugal in recent months. they are forking out less on everything, big and small.
shoppers across japan are keeping a tight grip on their wallets. they are spending less on all kinds of things, even their pets. managers at one pet food business say their sales have slumped. they say between april and june, they sold 15% less than in the same period last year. the managers say many of their customers bought supplies in bulk before the tax went up and they blame a 20% increase in the cost of raw materials for making things worse. they had no choice but to lift their prices. and that's turned many pet owners away. >> translator: i try to find cheaper items and stock up. >> translator: the impact of the tax hike has continued for much longer than we expected. we're hoping sales will start to recover in late autumn.
>> reporter: consumers are also holding off on bigger purchases. many have given up on their dreams of owning a house. builders say that's put a dent in their business. they say for four months straight, they've had less work than last year. they also blame a shortage of workers for forcing up their production costs. >> translator: i want a new house but it's expensive. i'm also thinking of buying a pre-owned apartment. >> reporter: managers at some firms are trying a different tact to lift their sales. they're promoting homes with in-law suites. they say people have a better chance of affording a house if they can share the cost with their parents. >> translator: we think we'll be still struggling for a while longer this year. we hope we can draw up plans for
our customers to make houses easier to buy. >> reporter: one expert says the hangover from the tax hike could be harder to shake off than he had expected. >> translator: consumer purchasing power has weakened so the pace of recovery could be slow. stocks of cars and machinery are piling up. so manufacturers might reduce their production and that could lead to a vicious cycle for the entire economy. >> reporter: prime minister abe is expected to decide by the end of the year whether he will raise the tax in 2015 to 10% but before then, he will need to prove the initial increase worked and give consumers the confidence to start spending again. kyoko fujita, nhk world. >> many investors in tokyo thought the gdp numbers were
largely within expectations. players who anticipated much worse figures bought back shares. tokyo finished 0.35% higher to 15,213 for the third straight gain. analysts say investors are buying shares on hopes that private pension funds will purchase more equities. investors showed a stronger appetite for buying ahead of the bank of korea's policy meeting. many think the central bank will begin to cut interest rates. officials from japan and the u.s. are trying to narrow their differences over auto trade
issues trying to clear the way for a broader free trade pact. the two-day meeting is focusing on bilateral issues. the talks are in parallel with negotiations for the trans pacific partnership. the americans also want to be able to raise their tariffs temporarily when imports of japanese vehicles surge. japanese officials are taking a guarded view of the proposals. the negotiators are saming to complete discussions by the end of the year. japanese central bank policymakers are apparently taking a more guarded view on the outlook for the nation's experts after the weaker yen in recent months failed to help exports. the bank of japan released minutes of a meeting.
the policymakers agreed experts have levelled off. they concur that volumes are likely to increase moderately. a few warn that structural factors could continue to hold back. one said a factor is shipments from japan to overseas. the officials downgraded the assessment of japan's exports from a leveling off to showing some weakness. here is more of the latest market figures.
the man set to be the next prime minister of iraq is winning support. haider al abadi is take his first steps towards forming a government. but the man he is trying to replace is trying to hold on. abadi has served as the deputy speaker of parliament. president fouad masoum has named him to take over as prime minister.
abadi is a shia. so is the man who has been prime minister the last eight years, nuri al-maliki. many iraqis say maliki has favored shias and they say that's driven sunnis to launch an insurgency and take over parts of northern iraq. now many sunnis are backing abadi. the president of the kurdish regional government masoud barzani has expressed his support and leaders in neighboring iran, turkey, and saudi arabia have also welcomed abadi's appointment. but maliki is refusing to step down or step aside. he met on tuesday with senior military and security officials. he reportedly instructed them not to interfere in the political crisis. still iraqis are seeing more of what they've seen throughout months of fighting between shias and sunnis. a series of bombs exploded in shia neighborhoods in baghdad. security officials believe islamist extremists staged the attacks. thousands of iraqis have been forced to flee from the sunni insurgents. they are angry about the political uncertainty. >> translator: we want our government to make a united country and give us back our peaceful life. >> in june the militants seized iraq's second largest city, mosul, forcing residents out. about 1,000 people have taken
shelter in the suburbs of erbil in the kurdish autonomous region. many have been suffering in soaring temperatures. kurdish leaders have been locked in a dispute with maliki's administration about who owns an oil field and they've welcomed abadi's nomination. united nations secretary general, ban ki-moon, has called for the protection of a religious minority. the yazidis, too, have escaped the insurgents and have taken refuge in remote mountains. >> u.n. humanitarian personnel are in the area doing all what we can. air drops of food and water are reaching some of the trapped people. but the situation on the mountain is dire. >> u.s. forces have carried out airstrikes for a fifth day. they used drones against militants in the town of sinjar. they say the insurgents were attacking kurdish fighters escorting yazidis to safety.
u.s. officials have sent in more help. an additional 130 military advisers have joined in the relief effort. >> we're not going back into iraq in any of the same combat mission dimensions that we once were in. in iraq. very specifically, this is not a combat boots on the ground operation. >> a spokesperson for the pentagon said the advisers were made up of marines and special operations forces. they have already arrived in erbil. they will assess the humanitarian situation in the mountains and they'll try to figure out how best to offer assistance. u.s. defense officials say they reached a milestone. they say specialists neutralized 100% of the agent used to make
seren gas. they say experts disposed of 500 tons of the agent. they will now turn their attention to the material for mustard gas. they say they expect to store 18 tons of that by next month. last august an attack in the suburb of damascus left hundreds dead. syria later agreed to give up their stock pile. the top diplomats from the u.s. and australia are growing concerned about the number of foreigners fighting in the middle east. u.s. secretary of state john kerry and australian foreign minister, julie bishop have agreed to push for a global response. bishop said that many have gone to the middle east in support of the islamic militants. >> people going to fight in conflicts around the world, leaving their countries, going to syria, iraq and elsewhere are becoming radicalized and taking part in extremist terrorist
activities is, in fact, an international problem. >> we intend to join together in order to bring this to the united nations meeting. >> kerry says solving the problem will require the support of officials in the fighters' home countries and not just in conflict areas. fans of classic hollywood films is mourning the death of lauren bacall. bacall came to prominence during the so-called golden age of hollywood. she won immediate fame with her 1944 debut "to have and have not". she was 19 years old. the film starred humphrey
bogart. the two married the following year. the marriage lasted until bogart's death in 1967. members of the humphrey bogart estate confirmed her death. laura bacall was 89. people in the u.s. city of detroit are clearing the after math of flooding. >> unseasonable weather. detroit hit by the heaviest
rainfall on record for the day on monday. 116 millimeters of rainfall fell, the second highest total recorded on a single day. two people were killed. it caused flash floods. authorities are advising residents to avoid nonessential travel on the roads. very bad conditions out there. right now the intense weather maker moved away. sunny weather is affecting much of the detroit area. new england states are under the influence of the big weather maker. there is potential for excessive amounts of rainfall, flooding and landslides and tornadoes. another system causing rain around the florida peninsula. showers active over the west as well as mexico. rain is on the menu for oregon and washington including
seattle. that will help temperatures to cool down. seattle your high is 23 degrees. los angeles 28 degrees for the high with abundance of sunshine. across the eastern seaboard quite comfortable for this time of year. 29 in the u.s. capital. across asia lots of heavy rains pounding many places in southern parts of china and taiwan because we have this low pressure system. the southwestern parts of taiwan is experiencing the worst of it. you have about 600 millimeters of rain. 542 millimeters. typically this aer received 420 millimeters for the month of august. and unfortunately torrential rain will likely continue into tonight and more heavy rainfall into the rest of the work week.
and as for mainland china torrential rain will likely pound many places. that will raise the potential for flooding as well as mudslides. lots of rain marks on the menu. rainy weather will continue into the weekend. high of over 30 degrees into your saturday. across europe massive clouds are rotating over the northern areas of europe. this has been affecting the scandinavian peninsula and the british isles. this is bringing in cooler air from the west lowering temperatures and we have hot air across the east. there is a potential for tornadoes, large hail as well as damaging winds on your wednesday and going into thursday, as well. temperatures over the east is
place on the island of shikoku. more nan a million people are expected to attend the festival. teams of dancers parade through the streets to the sound of flutes, drums and stringed instruments. they wear a summer kimono to perform the traditional dance. ♪ >> translator: this is so spectacular. >> people in the area have celebrated the festival for hundreds of years. and that's "newsline" for this hour. i'm gene otani in tokyo. from all of us here at nhk world thanks very much for joining us. until next time, good bye. a7guc
warm welcome to you live from paris. here is a look at top stories. weaponsecides to send to northern iraq, this as the u.s. sends 130 advisory personnel to help assess the situation. sending 280it is truckloads of humanitarian aid, but kiev and the west want to know exactly what is on board and insist on having red cross meet them at the border. lauren bacall died at the age